Monday, June 25, 2012


"The descent of grace, virtue and light onto the physical plane."  -Dr. Arthur Waite

By Judy Jennings    © Copyright 2012

The forces found in The Magician are those that propel the personality and guide it through the human condition, or as Paul Case so eloquently puts it, “This superior phase of the human consciousness is the initiator, the conductor of human personality through the maze of life”.  Much can be understood about this card through the meaning of its number.  One is the number of self-conscious awareness, inception and focus.  The Magician represents rational intelligence, willpower, and all other functions of the left hemisphere of the human brain.

The symbolism in this card refers to both our desire to control the natural environment and our need to be a part of it.  This important theme carries on throughout the entire major arcana.  The tools of the Magician are basic to survival and represent the four suits as well.  Arms outstretched towards heaven and earth indicate an understanding of the human life a as a channel for the expression of higher ideals.  Dr. Case made a good point when he noted that “Magic is simply the ancient name for science”. 

In addition to representing the universal forces that are expressed in the four suits, the survival kit on the table in front of the Magician represents the basics:  Light (Wands), water (Cups), air (Swords), and food (Pentacles).  The four corners and the four elements are indicated.  According to Case, these tools correspond to four ancient esoteric admonitions as well, and together, sum up the application of occult law:

Wands:         TO WILL
Cups:             TO KNOW
Swords:        TO DARE
Pentacles:    TO BE SILENT

“Occult means ‘hidden’, and one of the first duties of a practical occultist is the practice of silence…Concentration is the great secret of the magical art.”  -Paul Case.  Applied to Tarot, this idea suggests that time spent in quiet contemplation of the cards will add greatly to the depth of your understanding.

Intense focus and concentration is indeed the theme of The Magician.  This aspect of the personality is charged with the correct use of the tools in order to ensure survival.  Control of desires and freedom of choice are indicated by the cultivated red roses and the removable outer red robe.  The ease with which the robe can be shed is a statement that self-consciousness may enter into action, or abstain, depending on circumstances.

The Magician symbolizes the human intellect at its best.  Arthur Waite, creator of the Rider-Waite deck, describes its forces as “The descent of grace, virtue and light onto the physical plane”.

In a reading, a person represented by The Magician will be highly intelligent, independent and ambitious.  This is a gifted speaker, good communicator and someone with the capacity for motivating others.  A keen business instinct is indicated, as is a strong desire for knowledge with a practical application.  A calculated risk or the initiation of a project may be suggested.  The beginning of a matter that will require close attention is a possibility.  Strength of will may be required.

Meditate on The Magician to improve your power of Concentration.

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